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Mount Judah Loop Trail

MODERATE 465 reviews
#5 of 193 trails in

Mount Judah Loop Trail is a 4.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Truckee, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 4.8 miles Elevation Gain: 1,220 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

Directions from Truckee: Travel west on Hwy. #80 and take the exit to Old Highway #40 east of Donner Ski Ranch. From Hwy. #40 turn onto the road before the Alpine Skills Institute and begin the hike on the Pacific Crest Trail heading south.

hiking
4 days ago

Its a lit trail

hiking
rocky
4 days ago

A beautiful trail with lots of Incline, very rocky especially in the beginning . Lots of shade. Beautiful views... Just wish people had better dog etiquette! Not all dogs want to socialize with your dog! Especially if i clearly avoid you by leashing my dog and stepping off of the trail and you still allow your dog to approach, frustrating.

hiking
rocky
5 days ago

We did this loop in reverse, to conserve energy to also summit Donner's Peak. Such a fun hike with great views from the top. Easy as far as summits are concerned for sure. Start of trail is very rocky switchbacks which may be the hardest part. Do Donner's Peak as an extra bonus and you won't regret it.

hiking
11 days ago

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful trail. Amazing views, lots of trees, varied terrain. Highly recommended.

hiking
rocky
snow
12 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

Absolutely amazing hike! Lots of different terrain, all beautiful! Amazing views at the top!! Make sure to have good shoes as you walk on some large rocks. Highly recommend!! Our dogs loved it!

hiking
rocky
snow
19 days ago

Lots of diversity on this trail beginning with the loose rock ascent, which leads to the wooded and shaded beginning of the loop that becomes the eastern open side of Mount Judah dotted with tree stands and boulders. No matter the season, the views to the east are spectacular of Donnor Lake, and Truckee just beyond. In the winter in below freezing temps and gusty winds, the top makes you feel like an intrepid mountain climber. Very exciting. The trek down always rewards you with continued changing surroundings, from wide-open southwestern switchbacks, followed by mossy tree stands and more beautiful views to the west, including Lake Mary. Because a section of the hike is also part of the PTC, you may encounter a through hiker or section hiker always easily identified by all the gear they're carrying. If you've packed snacks or have extra water I'm sure these PTC through hikers would eagerly accept any "trail magic" you're able to share.

hiking
27 days ago

Popular hike and crowded on holidays. Quick 5 mile loop and starts with a 1/4 mile of technical rocks going up ... after that nice and easy and forest like trails. Winter has loads of snow and is great for snowshoeing. Summer later afternoon had bugs. But every season has great views.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, on the quicker side. Lots of trail runners.

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

Mt. Judah loop offers a variety of landscapes for one to stroll through. From beautiful mossy forest, flower laden slopes, and open exposed rock crags. This hike offers great views of Donner Lake, Truckee, the valley floor, and the surrounding mountain sides. A few good climbs with switch backs. The option to hike up Donner Peak is well worth the extra time. Well marked trail at intersections. Also fun to hike a small portion of the PCT along the way. A fair amount of foot traffic on our time out. However, not overwhelming crowds.

hiking
1 month ago

A very nice morning walk, perfect weather. We agree with the moderate rating. Just enough variety to stay interesting. Fabulous views

hiking
1 month ago

heavily traveled trail. Also suggest heading to the right at the first fork.

1 month ago

Beautiful views!!

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Highly trafficked trail but worth the pauses to let friendly hikers pass and vice versa. Gradual to moderate elevation going up and gradual to moderation decline coming down. So many wild flowers this time of year! A few patches of snow on the hills remain. Incredible views. Ever changing terrain of dirt, loose gravel and rocks. Sunscreen a must; a lot of the hike is exposed.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

I’m sure this is a moderate trail for a seasoned, conditioned hiker. I’m a twice a week hiker, but at a much lower altitude, and found it on the difficult side of moderate. That said, the views are amazing and I feel a real sense of accomplishment! I would highly recommend trekking poles as coming down the rocky bit can be tricky.

hiking
1 month ago

Great day hike and some serious elevation gain as you make the ascent up Mt. Judah. Had some fun chatting with SOBO PCT hikers and encouraging them on. Beautiful views from many parts of the hike. The last half-mile of the return seems long as the loose rocks and steps seem steeper than on the way up!

hiking
1 month ago

Stunning views of Donner Lake and the surrounding mountains from the top of Donner Peak (well worth the short walk off-trail) and from Mount Judah. The first (and last) part of the trail follows the rocky PCT. At the fork, we went left and followed the trail clockwise. This takes you to Donner Peak quite quickly, and also to a marker along the route of the old emigrant trail. From there, the trail climbs quite rapidly and gives your heart and lungs a good workout. Frustratingly, a couple of trail runners made it look easy, but we're sea level people so it was harder for us! The second half of the trail is all downhill, which takes time due to the rocky nature of the trail. We went mid August and the trail was buzzing! It didn't stop it being a great hike though.

hiking
2 months ago

Trail was amazing. Gorgeous views. I suggest moving counterclockwise when you hit the first fork that leads to the beginning of the loop (so take the right hand path first). Pretty good difficulty, nice workout.

hiking
2 months ago

great hike that is peaceful with great views. started just before 7am and only passed a few people. finished in 2 hours. Passed big groups last mile. full loop is actually 5.6 miles. highly recommend.

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent trail but a little longer than indicated. 5.6 miles in total. Will definitely hike this again.

hiking
bugs
rocky
snow
2 months ago

I enjoyed my hike. lots of great views and not really difficult except for a couple of spots. However, I recommend bug spray as there was a welcoming committee of mosquitoes that tried to follow me up the mountain. Also there is a part where the snow makes it difficult if you are not prepared. I suggest ski poles or walking sticks with pointy ends to give yourself stability. Other than that, fabulous. If you want more solitude, get there by 8. By 10, the place was a lot more crowded.

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome for an easy summit! Feel on top of the world!

hiking
2 months ago

There's 1 patch of snow about 50 meters long just before the summit when going clockwise, not too challenging to get past even in sneakers. Mosquitoes are everywhere so bring bug spray or be prepared to get bit.

2 months ago

So many wildflowers in August! A few patches of snow to walk through. Lovely breeze and a butterfly migration going on!

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